I’m so excited because I just booked my flights! I will leave the U.S. on June 4 and return on July 4. I also received confirmation that the Namirembe Guest House in Kampala is willing to keep an extra suitcase filled with charity donation items while I am in Tanzania. Oh, I didn’t finish that part of the story yet, did I?
… Even though I didn’t get the BECA grant, my conversations with Makerere University and BTA have continued and I really feel like it is time to get to Africa and explore the possibilities. But, can I/should I go to Uganda myself?? With the encouragement of others, I forged ahead with plans and have been able to pool a couple of small funding sources and have applied for an institutional grant to support a trip to Africa this summer. But, since I’ve never traveled abroad, I had still wondered “can I really do this?” Well, a new opportunity arose for me to split my visit to Africa by going to Tanzania with new Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at Wilkes. She had developed a study abroad experience at Nyakahanga Hospital in Karagwe (Northwest Tanzania) a number of years ago when she was faculty at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt In Tanzania) and has been bringing students there for many summers. This will be a perfect opportunity to learn from someone who has expertise in cross-cultural communication, working with students in a foreign country, and managing logistics. So my plans are now to go with the 13+ member study abroad group to Karagwe for 2 weeks and then to go to Uganda (Kampala and Masindi) for 2 weeks. Also, I have been able to recruit an interested pharmacy student who will meet me in Uganda and help me with planning on the ground and developing the APPE experience. I feel his perspective will be invaluable for planning an experience that is beneficial for students. In the future, the APPE (advanced pharmacy practice experience) will probably be a September experience so that school for Makerere Pharmacy students will be in session. But, I hope that we will still be able to meet up with some Makerere faculty and students this summer, perhaps to share a meal.